This course is only open to students of the Master Public Administration, Economics and Governance specialisation. The general component of the course is open to all students of the Master Public Administration. This course assumes knowledge of quantitative research methods and socio-economic policy analysis at third-year bachelor level.
This course is divided between a general (partly online) component (1/3 of the course) and a specialisation-specific component (2/3) of the course.
The general component of the course is aimed at providing a methodological toolbox that students will be able to apply in the specialisation-specific module and in their thesis. As such, the course provides a link between Research Design and the Master’s Thesis. It consists of a series of online learning modules covering different qualitative and quantitative methods (regression analysis; qualitative interviewing; survey research; comparative analysis; etc.) combined with face-to-face group sessions where these methods are discussed and applied. Students are able to tailor their own learning track depending on their methodological needs and interests in the thesis. The online component includes video and audio lectures, exercises and quizzes.
In the specialisation-specific component we will build on the blended learning tutorials of the general component. This component has the following setup: i) During the first four weeks we have lectures and a written Mid-Term Test. Specifically, we start with an introductory lecture and then will cover chapters 1 to 5 of the recent textbook
MasteringMetrics: The Path from Cause to Effect’ by Joshua Angrist and Jörn-Steffen Pischke (also see the website: masteringmetrics.com) in a series of lectures during the first three weeks of the course. We illustrate the methods with examples of the empirical economics literature that considers the impact of public policies The written Mid-Term Test on this series of lectures is in the fourth week of the course. ii) In the remaining weeks students apply one of the modern empirical research methods to a particular policy using a real life data set, and present their results. We start with an introductory lecture on the software and the data sets (students can also use the data set that they plan to use for their thesis). Subsequently, students will work with the software and the data set on their own. During the research period we will have weekly consultation hours. At the end of the research period students present their research.
After taking this course, students will be able to:
Identify appropriate methods of analysis and research techniques to answer a specific research question;
Understand modern applied empirical methods and the underlying assumptions;
Work with relevant statistical software packages on real world data sets;
Independently carry modern empirical methods to study the causal effects of public policies;
Effectively report and present the results of their analyses in the field of Economics and Governance.
On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.
Mode of instruction
- Online modules, quizzes, interactive lectures, offline seminars, workshops.
- Seminars, further structured study (working on research assignments), fieldwork (data collection, design data collection instruments)
The total course load is 140 hours:
- Online modules, quizzes, interactive lectures, seminars, workshops: 47 hours
Specialisation-specific component: 93 hours
Seminars: 12 hours
Further structured study: 31 hours
Fieldwork: 20 hours
Self-study: 30 hours
Total assessment of the course is divided between the online general component (35% of the total course grade), and the specialization component (65% of the total course grade).
Assessment of the general component:
Successful completion of required online modules: pass/fail
Participation in the application workshops: pass/fail)
A written exam: 100% (retake possible)
Assessment of the specialization-specific component:
Assessment of the specialization-specific component:
Mid-Term Test quantitative research methods (50%)
Presentation and slides empirical research (50%)
NB. To pass this component, the weighted average of the grades of all three elements has to be 5.5 or higher. Furthermore, the grade for the Mid-Term Test qualitative research methods has to be 5.5 or higher and the grade for the Mid-Term Test quantitative research methods has to be 5.5 or higher. We will offer a re-take for the Mid-Term Test qualitative research methods, the Mid-Term Test quantitative research methods, and for the presentation and slides of the empirical research at the end of the next block. Attendance of the lectures and the final session with presentations is obligatory: we will deduct 0.3 points from the final score for each lecture that is not attended.
The total grade for the course is the weighted average of the final grades for the two components.
You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.
On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website, uSis and Blackboard.
Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have taken the first sit and have a mark lower than 5.5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.
Resit written exam
Students that want to take part in a resit for a written exam, are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.
There are two Blackboard pages for this course: one page for the track-specific seminar and one page for the general part of the course common for all tracks. The Blackboard page for the general part of the course can be found by using the title "Research Methods: Flipped Classroom". All online activities for the general component of the course will take place on the Blackboard page. The Blackboard page will be activated in mid-January.
Angrist, J. and J.-S. Pischke, 2014, Mastering `Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect, Princeton University Press, chapters 1 to 5 including the appendices (most recent edition).
The readings for the general component of the course will be announced on Blackboard.
Use uSis to register for the track-specific component of the course. Students do not need to separately enroll for the general component of the course through uSis. Both components of the course have a separate Blackboard page. Students need to register for both Blackboard pages. Registration for the workshops related to the general component of the course is possible on Blackboard. Registration for the workshops will open in mid-January.
Please note! Students do not need to participate in all workshops. Information on which workshops are required will be posted on Blackboard in mid-January.
Dr Alexandre Afonso
Dr Natascha van der Zwan
Dr. Egbert Jongen